Post two: LET'S GO PERUZARUZAN
Most people look at me with blank stares when I tell them I'm going to the third world by myself, with no concrete plan whatsoever. There's something about the culture and religion of most countries in the developing world that somehow just sets my soul on fire. Now that I've had a taste of this, I don't think I could ever go back to the way I was before. So this winter, I plan to take my time of solace and reflection. I plan to reflect on my life, the relationships within my life, my hopes for the future, and my sense of purpose for being here on Earth. I plan to take the moment, to seize the moment, and to make the very, very most of it....as if these moments were the last moments of eternity. That's the make-believe game I like to play when I travel.
PACKING FOR SUCCESS
When you're going to a developing country there are certain things that you are going to want to make sure you bring with you. Bring sunscreen, it's not cheap there. You're probably going to want to go to Walmart and get an adapter set so that you can plug your appliances into the outlets. I'de bring my travel appliances and a bag pack. I'de also bring about six sets of undergarments and a bathing suit. Me personally, I'm going to bring one pair of jean shorts and two pairs of jeans, a few T-shirts, and a baseball hat. I will bring some sandals too. I will just buy anything else that I might need while I'm down there.
I wouldn't really worry too much about medications, as most medications can be purchased for 10% of the price paid in the United States, at any corner pharmacy, in any developing country, in all of the world. (the costs of medicine here in the US really ticks me off)
You'll probably be surprised to find out that companies are making a lot of money off of people's naivety. Gone are the days that you have to pay for international calling. I just installed Viber onto my phone for free, and now anyone with Viber on their phone can call or text me from any country for absolutely no cost. I also like to communicate to my friends back home using Facebook, Gmail, Gmail chat, or even WhatsApp. Lastly, if you'd really like to go all out you can bring an unlocked cell phone with you and purchase a sim card upon arrival. This is a really cheap way to make calls within the country of destination, and even back home.
One thing that I have done is scanned my passport and uploaded a copy of it to my cloud computing account. It's also a good idea to do the same with credit cards and your yellow fever card, if you have one. Another thing that I've done is gotten a passport case that looks like a passport on the outside. Then I made a photocopy of my actual passport and arranged it in such a way that it looks like my real passport is inside the case. I carry expired credit cards and cash in this case as well. Most of the time officials will accept a copy of my passport in lieu of me pulling out of the real thing. Not only that, if someone comes to rob me, then I can give them my fake passport case with my fake credit cards and a little bit of cash.... They will think they have gotten everything and they will leave me alone. I generally just use this case as my wallet when I'm traveling, and I keep my real passport and cash at an undisclosed location.
All I can say here is that sleeping is overrated, and I will sleep when I die. Well, in my case I will sleep when I fly, but heeeyyy... Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of overnight flights. That way you can kill two birds with one stone and really get a lot of travel bang for your buck.
LET’S TALK MONEY
Rule one – make sure to tell your bank you're going overseas so they don't freeze your cards when you go to use them. That happened to me in Rio and it wasn't cool. Rule two - no one uses travelers checks anymore. Don't waste your time. Bring your ATM card, that's how you will get cash. Carry your day cash in the fake passport pouch, and leave the rest in a safe location. For me, sometimes a safe location is my hotel room, and other times a safe location is underneath my clothes. Also, one more thing.... make sure there is no card reader device on the ATM when you go to get cash. You don't want your identity stolen while you're overseas, that would really complicate the issue.